Great for Sanding Maloof Inspired Rocker Laminations

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Review by Charles Brock posted 04-21-2010 07:20 PM 4961 views 2 times favorited 3 comments Add to Favorites Watch
Great for Sanding Maloof Inspired Rocker Laminations No-picture-s No-picture-s Click the pictures to enlarge them

I build Maloof inspired rockers and chairs for customers as well as teaching classes and producing instructional bundles for my chairs. You can see my work at

Some of my hobbies include playing guitar, dobro and own several other string instruments. Recently, I was surfing a supply and tool site for luthiers called Stew-Mac. I saw a tool called “The Luthier’s Friend.” It was designed to sand small strips of binding or wood that are used to build guitars. It is a vertically mounted drum sander, fence attachment for the drill press.

Just like the rest of you guys, I don’t have enough room. My 16-32 Performax drum sander takes up valuable floor space in my shop and costs $900. As a chair maker its only use has been sanding lamination’s for rocker sleds. Maybe the Luthiers Friend (it hangs on a peg hook) could sand the few laminations that needed drum sanding and free up some floor space for assembly and carving. After Googling the name of the tool I found some info about the designer and gave him a call. Ken Picou is a fine woodworker, tool maker and designer ( in Austin, Texas. Ken sent me one to put through the paces.

The Luthier’s Friend is a friend to anyone who needs to quickly sand thin strips of wood like my laminations. The operator simply sets the fence to reveal the desired thickness between the fence and the sanding drum. Don’t take a big bite(just like the Performax drum sander) and pass the laminations through the opening. The base of the unit provides zero clearance with the bottom edge of the sanding drum (which is also outfitted with a roller guide on the bottom and is called a Roto-Sander). A great little dust control shroud picks up that pesky stuff. Way to go Ken you have a tool that does what it was designed to do. Save money over buying the big drum sander, and valuable space (did I mention it hangs on a peg hook).

The Roto-Sander can be used to duplicate the rocker’s back legs from a template without the dangers of router table duplication with a two inch bit. Ouch!

It is also available from Highland Woodworking.

-- Charles Brock

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Charles Brock

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3 comments so far

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#1 posted 04-21-2010 11:02 PM

Thanks for the review. I’ve always wondered if it actually worked or not. It’s kind of like sears drill powered lathes- sounds good but…

-- Karen - a little bit of stupid goes a long way

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#2 posted 04-22-2010 10:13 PM

Very cool indeed thanks for posting !!

-- Rj's Woodworks,San Jose & Weed Ca,

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#3 posted 10-30-2011 04:21 AM

I cut my strips for laminations on the table saw with a good quality saw blade. A good blade leaves a surface that is ready for glue up. Your doing two things this way: first, your saving a step (therefore, saving valuable time). Second your saving $160 plus tax and shipping.

If it was good enough for Sam Maloof, its good enough for me.

-- There are many ways to skin a cat...... but, the butter knife is not recommended

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